Review October 30th, 2020

The joy and pain of Spotify Discover Weekly, and the muddy waters of tech

I’ve been recently inspired by the call to arms for tech to tell its own story better. Mike Solana‘s interview on WorksInProgress is well worth reading, just to understand this strained relationship that tech has with traditional media. It helps understand the rise of Twitter, if nothing else.

For me it’s not so much about tech insiders telling the counterargument to the doomsday talk coming out of traditional media. It’s about wading into the muddy waters of what we’re building and unpack why there’s no other option than pushing forward into this grey zone and leaving both the digital luddites and ideologues on the shore to continue their useless spat. In other words, let’s just talk in plain english about how we think about building tech that strikes the right balance.

With that in mind, I wrote about the way Spotify Weekly has both dramatically improved my music experience and also distanced me from some of the social aspects of music that I’ve always loved. My rationale was that the opportunity and danger of algorithms is much easier to talk about in music as opposed to these politically loaded debates around social media, but music still presents a lens that everyone can relate to. I’m going to publish another piece soon on video chat software, which simultaneously keeps my long-distance relationship alive and messes with my head in nasty ways. These muddy waters of tech…

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